What Other Poker Players Dont Want You To KnowArticle By: RuffPoker.com
Their hole cards. Just kidding - sort of. Poker is a predatory game. You profit when you play people who aren’t as good as you are. But what makes one poker player better than another? What makes one player a shark and another a fish? Why do some players consistently make final tables while others blow their bankroll? What is it that good poker players know that they don’t want you to know?
Poker is a game of odds. When you bet $300 into a $500 pot, you’re telling your opponent “I’m giving you 3-to-5 odds that my hand my hand is better than yours. When you’re opponent calls, they’re saying “I think my odds of winning this hand are better than the odds you’re giving me.”
In poker, you make money when your opponent takes bad odds and you take good ones. It might not work out that way over a couple of hands, but it always works out over time. A player that doesn’t understand pot odds is shark bait.
Players bet differently depending on how strong their hand is. For example, a bet on the flop and a check on the turn could mean that the player was trying to steal the pot or it could mean that they’re trying to get a free draw at the river card. A check on the turn rarely means a player has a monster.
A raise on the turn, however, is dangerous. When a player raises the turn, they’re trying to build a pot so they can get more money on the river. A raise on the turn almost always signals a hand bigger than top pair. Straights, sets, flushes, and two pair will all raise the turn. Top pair rarely does.
Knowing these patterns can improve your overall profit rate by cutting your losses. Betting patterns are one of the most import factors involved in reading a hand.
Expected Value (EV)
Every move you make in poker will either make you money or lose you money─ every bet, every fold, every raise. At any given time, these moves will have a positive or negative expected value. Winning players are the ones who chose the move that is the most EV+ and makes their opponents take the option that is most EV -. In fact, the difference between a player that is a marginal winner and a player who is a big winner is that the marginal winner makes moves that are marginally EV+ while the big winner waits for a spot where they can make a move that is massively EV+.
Poker is a zero sum game. For every winner in poker, there is a loser. The winners are the ones who understand that poker is a mathematical game and can play accordingly. Your opponents hope you don’t understand any of the above concepts, but above all they hope you think that poker is all about luck. Someone who knows that poker is about math is a very dangerous player.